Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Thursday, May 19, 2011

J.P. Turner Not Liable to Investors in Provident Royalties Private Placement

According to Investment News, a federal district court judge in Atlanta dismissed investors' claims against the brokerage firm J.P. Turner involving its sales of interests in Provident Royalties LLC (which offered oil and gas deals and which has been the subject of numerous regulatory and investors' actions).  The article quotes the firm's attorney as stating that J.P. Turner is the only broker-dealer to have a class action against it dismissed.  I have not seen the opinion myself, but if the article accurately summarizes it, it is a blockbuster.  Judge Carnes finds that there is no Georgia authority to support investors' allegations that the firm had a duty to confirm the accuracy of the issuer's statements in the private placement memoranda because it was not an underwriter. 

Hello?  What about a "know your security" obligation?  What about a duty to have a reasonable basis when recommending a security to a customer? 

I have written extensively about the need for a federal cause of action that would allow investors to recover against brokers that provide negligent or incompetent investment advice -- to no avail.  This opinion sounds like the poster child in support of my position. 

See InvNews, Rare sighting: Indie B-D wins private placement case

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Wouldn't you agree that one significant reason the court could not find case law holding that the broker had a duty toward his customer is due to the fact that customers have been routinely forced to arbitrate any claims against broker-dealers and their representatives for the last 20 plus years, thereby hindering the development of the law in this area?

Posted by: Leslie | May 20, 2011 7:54:23 AM

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